So you just got engaged or engagement is right around the corner and you're not sure where you want to have your engagement photos done. Don't sweat it!!! After years of making memories with newly engaged couples, I have compiled a list of my favorite engagement shoot locations in Vancouver. Let's do this!!!
Blackie Spit Park, located in Crescent Beach in South Surrey, is stunning for its views of Mud Bay and the North Shore Mountains, as well as the opportunity to get in the water! As you can see below, an intimate golden hour session in the water makes for incredibly romantic and warm shots that seem straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Photo background: A pier, rocks, water, sand, grassy areas, trees, mountains, possibly boats.
Highlights: Picnic area, off-leash dog play and swim area, easy walking trails, public washrooms.
Whonnock Lake Park is a place to spend the entire day before or after your engagement shoot! There is so much to do here including fishing, picnic, volleyball, wilfelife viewing, a BBQ area, and swimming. The lake, beach, forest, and open green space give LOTS of options for various shots.
Photo background: A pier, rocks, forest, lake, grass, wildflowers, mountains.
Highlights: Public washrooms, plenty of outdoor activities for the day of your shoot.
I have shot here over 100 times and I'm still not sick of it!!! This is the location where I had my first ever paid session as a photographer so it holds a special place in my heart. That's why I keep coming back, as well as the fact that it is less than 10 minutes from my house. Campbell Valley Regional Park is a huge green space to explore so there are no shortage of background options including bridges, dense forest, lovely ponds, and tall golden grass.
Photo background: Golden grass, ponds, trees, forest, bridges, open space, gravel paths.
Highlights: Plenty of free parking, 29 km network of trails for walking or horseback riding, dog friendly, plenty of picnic spots.
According to the BC Parks website, Porteau Cove is located on the most southerly fjord in North America, and features a view over Howe Sound to the stunning mountains beyond. If you are a scuba diving couple, an old ship has been sunk at this location to attract marine life and divers! The background possibilities here are unreal with deep blue mountains and vibrant turquoise water. Add in the brown rocks and various shades of greenery and you've got all the colours of the Pacific Northwest right here! Perfect for any outdoor adventure couple.
Photo background: Trees and bushes, large rocks, gravel paths, mountains, water, pier, train tracks.
Highlights: Outdoor activities like camping, cycling, fishing, hiking, and diving available.
Mud Bay is known for its fantastic view of Boundary Bay, which features various birds and even seals in the distant waves. If you want to make a day of it you can continue along the Dyke Trail and follow 20 km of shoreline all the way to Boundary Bay in Delta.
Photo background: Rocks, sand, trees, logs, grassy patches, trails, water, possibly wildlife.
Highlights: Parking lot was recently expanded, walking trails, wildlife viewing, public washrooms.
The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is so much more than a place to watch live performances or attend an arts program. It is also a stunning location for anyone who loves greenery, flowers, and Tudor-style cottages. You will feel like you've been placed into a fairytale as you walk down polished pathways near a lilypad-coated lake and sneak intimate moments on private staircases. As you can see below, this location is easy to dress up or down!
Photo background: Tudor-style buildings, flowers, greenery, water, bridges and pathways.
Highlights: Not a very crowded location, located in a central city with lots of restaurant and cafe options nearby, public washrooms.
Let me start by saying that the colour palette at Pitt Lake is UNREAL. White mist and clouds contrasted with deep blue mountains and golden grass and gravel pathways in the foreground. This area is also huge (Pitt Lake is the second biggest lake in Metro Vancouver) so there are plenty of spots to get shots in front of the water, on the paths, and even on the road. With mountain backgrounds like these, you're going to be printing much larger than 4x6 photos after your shoot here.
Photo background: Mountains, mist, golden grass, roads, gravel paths, water.
Highlights: Not a very crowded location, lots of activity options including hiking, cycling, and a swanky golf course nearby.
If seemingly endless tidal flats are your thing, then Boundary Bay is your spot! The way the warm light of golden hour lights up the water and sand is SO dreamy, and the flat surface makes this location great for movement as you can see in the photos below. Make a day of this spot and hit up the Dyke Trail for some quality time together.
Photo background: Sandy beach, tidal flats, trails, logs, rocks.
Highlights: Wide open space to avoid crowds of people, accessibly by transit, public washrooms, hiking trails.
Do what Sammy and Ryan did below and hit up Granville Island with me just in time for sunrise! That way you can get your best shots when you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, then hit the Granville Island Market for a delicious selection of breakfast foods (plus various other food items to buy for later). Coming at sunrise also meant we skipped the crowds and had the whole area to ourselves. If you're looking for a cool downtown by the water vibe, this is your place.
Photo background: Water, city skyline, bridge, concrete, brick, docks, boats, unique shops.
Highlights: Huge variety of restaurants and food shops nearby, easily accessible by transit.
Buntzen Lake is another great spot for adventure couples who love to explore. Swimming and incredible trails will give you endless options for shots that capture your outdoorsy side. Bonus points if you and your babe get in the water at some point during our shoot!! This location can be dressed up or down, as you can see in the photos below.
Photo background: Water, forest, mountains, beach, pier, trails.
Highlights: Great hiking trails, swimming lake, and picnic spots.
If you want to look over the edge of a rocky cliff at endless ocean with the wind blowing through your hair, choose Whytecliff Park for your engagement photos! Incredible views of Howe Sound and distant mountains will take your breath away and give your photos a real romantic getaway vibe.
Photo background: Rugged coastline, boats, mountains, water, beach, trails, forest, rocks.
Highlights: Picnic area, public washrooms, swimming beach, cafe, short walking trails.
Well we are at the end of my FAVORITE Vancouver locations for engagement photos, so I hope you've seen a spot that makes your heart jump! But if you still aren't sure then I am ALWAYS open to other ideas. Want to shoot at your house? Is there somewhere else that is sentimental to you? Maybe where you had your first date?? I'm here for any ideas you may have, just HIT ME UP!!!